Scriptures

Adding Mutual Affection To Godliness

Introduction

‘And to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.’ 2 Peter 1:7

Mutual affection is used in some translations as brotherly kindness and it simply connotes a tender affection to all our fellow Christians. This suggests a selfless attitude that makes it easy for us to put the interest of our brothers and sisters ahead of our own interest.

Paul says to the Christians in Rome that they should honour one another above themselves. He expresses the need for Christians to be devoted to one another in love, Romans 12:10.

Paul admonished the Galatians to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers, within the scope of available opportunity. Looking out for one another’s interest is borne out of the recognition of our common destiny, goal and heavenly aspirations.

It comes from a realisation that we are co-heirs of God’s given inheritance and since we all belong to God, we must do our level best to take care of one another. It is also an important recognition that we all are members of Christ’s body and if one member is in pain, all others share in the suffering.

A quick reflection of the hymn written by John Fawcett (1782) expresses the inevitability of mutual affection very succinctly: ‘Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

We share our mutual woes; our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear. When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again’. This is the way it should be. I am my brother’s (and sister’s) keeper!

‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’ Galatians 6:9-10

‘Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.’ 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Prayer

Dearest Father of all grace and glory, we thank You indeed for always caring for every one of us. Please help us to learn from You as we put the needs of one another above and beyond our very own.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'"

Matthew 22:37

MENU